Got a new mobile device over the holidays? Here are three ways to keep it cyber secure

December 27, 2019

Did you get a new device over the holidays? You've probably already spent a lot of time customizing it with the latest mobile applications, music and even snapped a few new photos.

Once the initial excitement has worn off, though, you'll want to spend some time on something that's easy to forget: Securing your device against cyber criminals.

Mobile devices contain a lot of information about us – from financial information contained in our private bank accounts to personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.

By setting aside some time to educate yourself on cyber security for your mobile device, you can ensure this information stays protected. Here are three ways to keep your new device cyber secure.

Update your operating system

In the excitement about getting a new device, it's simple to forget about operating system updates.

After all, who wants to take time away from playing a new game or checking out their favourite web sites to download a new update?

The problem is that those operating system updates actually contain important security features that help you stay ahead of cyber criminals.

So if you got a new device over the holidays, ensure you've downloaded any operating system updates that are on offer. Then, go ahead and enjoy the rest of your device!

Follow best practices for password protection

A password is all that stands between your personal information and the cyber criminals trying to extract it – and that includes on your mobile devices.

That's why it's important, if you've just gotten a new device for the holidays, to get up to speed on password protection best practices.

The first piece of advice? Enable password protection on your device. Most devices come with a feature that allows you to protect access with a password or pin.

The second piece of advice is adopting a strong password to protect your device (and any of the accounts you access from that device). Follow Get Cyber Safe's best practices on device passwords to protect yourself.

Turn on two-factor authentication

A password is an ideal way to protect your device and the information it contains. But it's not a complete fail-safe. Cyber criminals can still find a way to change your passwords and, in the process, get access to your accounts.

One way to stop cyber criminals in their tracks is to turn on two-factor authentication for your accounts.

Two-factor authentication means that any time someone tries to log in or make a significant change to your account (such as changing a password), there will be a second layer of security. In most cases, that means receiving a text message or email.

This is especially important for mobile devices, since they contain so much information that can compromise our security (such as banking information).

If you received a device over the holidays, protect yourself! Take the time to sign up for two-factor authentication for your device and any of the services you are using on it.

Conclusion

Getting a new device for the holidays is an exciting time. But you'd be surprised at how quickly you can fill it with information that would be an unexpected gift for any cyber criminal.

Don't wait too long and expose yourself to too much risk. Take some time over the holidays to get cyber safe with your new device.


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